Posts filed under NIFDA

Always Buy American Made USA Flags!

When discussing my business to someone unfamiliar with the flag industry, I am often asked, “what issues do you face in your business?”. I know this is a fishing question to determine if our businesses can somehow work together. Issues in the flag industry are similar to most small businesses, but a major issue right now is: the sale of counterfeit United States Flags online.

What on earth is a counterfeit US Flag? A counterfeit American Flag is a foreign made US Flag that is not labeled. Labeling laws require the Country of Origin and Material Content on the product until in the hands of the end-user.

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Why is this important? There are many online retailers that are using deceptive words to disguise the “country of origin” when adverting a United States flag product. They are not labeling the flag with the country of origin or material content, which is against the law.

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Did you know, $5,973,000 in US Flags were imported in 2017? That number is anticipated to increase in 2018.

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This deceptive behavior impacts so many individuals and businesses:
*The end-user believes they are showing their patriotism by flying a United States Flag that is made in the USA.
*The material and workmanship of a counterfeit flag could impact the reputation of manufacturers located in the USA.
*Retailers, like myself, cannot compete, price wise, with an online, illegal imported flag.
*US manufactures are in a very difficult position as their brand is being compromised. Plus, with almost $6 million dollars in imported flags coming into the US, sales are impacted, which results in a loss of American workers.

 Custom Flag Company is dedicated to selling only AMERICAN MADE US Flags. We belong to two organizations who sole purpose is to promote United States flags that are manufactured in the USA.

**National Independence Flag Dealers Association (NIFDA): ALL members must abide by a Code of Ethics where flag dealers will strictly adhere to a policy of selling US flags that are only Made in the USA.

**Flag Manufacturers Association of America (FMAA): As a Retailer, our company agrees to only distribute US flags that are Made in the USA and include FMAA’s “Certified Made in the USA” logo.

What can you do? Next time you order an American flag online, look for the county of origin on the listing, check the flag for labeling. Is there a label ON THE FLAG stating the country of origin and material? If not, it is counterfeit. Send it back and write a negative review.

Most importantly, when ordering a flag online or in person, confirm the flag seller is a FMAA Retailer or a NIFDA Member. You will have the peace of mind knowing your United States Flag is MADE in the USA.

Here is a great article discussing this very important issue.

This is what the article discusses:

Flag Sellers Are Likely Violating Rules To Trick Americans Into Buying Chinese-Made US Flags

  • Major sellers of American flags get their products from China, an audit found.

  • The flags, in some cases, are marketed as being made of U.S.-made nylon, but are actually made of polyester typically produced in China, two labs determined.

  • The flags don’t include label that show their country origin or material content, which is required by law.

  • The Flag Manufacturers Association of American (info@fmaa-usa.com) says the flags are being sold illegally and has requested the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launch an investigation.

THANK YOU FOR READING! Again, please buy American Made USA Flags!

Posted on November 12, 2018 and filed under Flag Facts, NIFDA, Sale, US Flag.

National Independent Flag Dealers Association Convention Recap

Last month Custom Flag Company attended the annual National Independent Flag Dealers Association (NIFDA) convention in San Antonio, Texas. NIFDA’s mission is to promote American made US flags. This is an opportunity for flag dealers, like ourselves, to take a few days to rejuvenate and focus on our industry.

 

The three-day convention provided a platform for us to network with our peers and suppliers. We learned about new products, techniques, and issues in our industry. The education was outstanding and this year’s focus was leadership. We heard from excellent speakers that gave us insight on leadership and provided us with hands on tools to bring home and use in our business.

 

Other highlights included a forum of Flag Manufactures of America Association (FMAA) members. They made us aware of an issue with counterfeit US flags listed on Amazon and let us know how we can help bring awareness of falsely advertised flags. Other speakers included best practices for hiring new employees and how to protect our business with a sound succession plan.

 

Our final session was truly inspirational. Retired Major General Angela Salinas, the current CEO of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, spoke of her journey in the Marine Corp. She expressed how much she respects the American flag and what it means to her and those who serve our country. We were reminded that that our work does matter.

 

Each year I am in awe of the flag industry. The caliber and ethics of the membership, the willingness to open up and share with each other, and the respect we share of the American flag truly makes our time together meaningful. 

Posted on October 22, 2018 and filed under US Flag, NIFDA, Misc-, Flag Facts, Events, Custom Flag Company News, CFC Staff.

When Should A US Flag be Retired?

I am sure we have all seen it before: A torn up, tattered, and faded US flag flying “proudly” in a highly visible location. What was your reaction?

Personally, when I come across such a situation I have to hold myself back from removing the flag. When a United States flag gets to the point of being tattered, faded, and torn it does not represent a proud, American attitude.

When your flag is tattered, you have choices:

  • Properly dispose the flag and purchase a new one

  • Clean and Repair the flag

  • Ignore the flag

Here a few guidelines Custom Flag Company uses to determine if an American flag should be retired:

Color

  • Is the RED dull, light red, or pink?

  • Does the WHITE look grey or have pollution streaks?

  • Is the BLUE starfield dull, almost grey?

  • Are the STARS fading into the blue field?

Length

  • When folded at the end of the BLUE field is stripe length shorter than the blue field?

  • Is the flag a square?

Fabric

  • Is the fabric thin?

  • Does the flag look transparent?

  • Do the fibers of the fabric look open?

  • Does the flag feel very soft?

Answering YES to any of the questions above would indicate the flag may need to be destroyed. This is not an exact protocol but a guideline. Ask yourself, would you want THIS flag hung outside your place of business? Does the tattered represent your business? Does it portray the American spirit you wish to display?

Flags that can be cleaned & repaired:

  • The color is vivid.

  • The blue has a dark blue appearance, the red is vibrant.

  • Stars look clean & bright. There is plenty of length on the fly end of the flag after the repair.

  • The fabric is thick, strong and not transparent.

Each flags life will end at some point so make sure you provide it a proper retirement. Drop if off at a local organization that retires flags or contact Custom Flag Company for more details.

7 Happenings Since Last Blog

Wow does time fly! I last blogged on December 6 and SO much has happened here at CFC as well as personally. Let me bring you up to date.

Vacation

I took off December 7 to Puerto Vallarta. It was the year of the adult trip. We travel with a group of friends and we alternate between adults only and a family vacation. Our group loves to go to Mexico to enjoy the warm tropical weather in the middle of winter. The weather was PERFECT and we enjoyed a fantastic excursion, the Extreme Zipline tour. This was the tour that kept on going. A 30-minute boat ride, a 20-minute truck ride, a 30-minute mule ride. Nine great zips across ravines and through the forest. Two rappels, one of which was next to a 55-foot waterfall. Two water slides. 20-minute truck ride back to the bay. 30 minute boat ride which included a stop at Los Arcos.A whale spotting.What a great day, such wonderful memories with magnificent friends. A side note, I did not love traveling in the middle of the holiday season. I truly enjoy the holiday parties, the baking, the chaos, the shopping and felt shorted of my precious holiday season.

Mexico

Mexico

 Maddi accepted to College

While we were in Puerto Vallarta, my daughter, Maddi was officially accepted to North Park University in Chicago. She waited for our return to tell us. She is planning to play fast-pitch softball there. We are in the midst of planning a huge graduation party with three of her close friends and she leaves for London tomorrow for a trip with the English department at her school. This week will give us a peek of what our life will be like this fall as empty-nesters.

Maddi

Maddi

Office Remodel

We completely closed the office the week of Christmas and undertook a facelift/remodel of the office. We replaced floors, painted walls, added electrical, lighting and redesigned one of the office. What a huge undertaking! We packed EVERYTHING in a day. We were able to purge so much as we moved back in. After the New Year, we played catch up, move in while enduring the little glitches that happen with technology. It was tough but well worth it, the space is better utilized and we are not on top of each other.

Office

Office

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Office1

Office2

Office2

Super Bowl

It has taken some time to even talk about it. We were blessed with such an amazing football season then then we were blindsided while watching the Super Bowl. I still think the city of Denver is still recovering. No one talks about it. In the rare occasion the Super Bowl is mentioned, it hurts to the core. We enjoyed a rush of customers wanting to get their Denver Bronco flags as well as working with the Denver Broncos to produce their UNITED in ORANGE, Time to Ride flags.

DenverBronco2014

DenverBronco2014

Staff Additions

We have had the opportunity to expand our staff this winter. David and Zach have shifted from part-time to full-time. David is splitting his time as a service tech working in the office He has taken the reigns running our new heat press.He is a great leader and well as gifted in graphic art and is amazing working on custom jobs. Zach has taken on the responsibility as the Lead Tech. His organization and thoroughness are a huge assist to our service department. Denise is our new administrative assistant; she is responsible for account receivables, inventory management and customer service.

CFCPost_Card_Thanks

CFCPost_Card_Thanks

NIFDA

This past fall I was elected to the NIFDA (National Independent Flag Dealers Association) Board of Directors. It is an honor to serve on a board for an Association that has truly helped me and my business. I have the opportunity to work with like-minded professionals who do exactly what I do. I traveled to San Antonio in February to attend our annual face-to-face meeting to lay out our plans for the upcoming year and begin planning the NIFDA convention.

NIFDA Board 2014

NIFDA Board 2014

Retirement Announcement

The single, most important, announcement of the past few months is my father, Phil Millett, has officially decided to retire. We started this business in 1998 as equal business partners. We started small, just the two of us.We have grown and expanded to over 10 employees and he is ready to enjoy retirement full-time. Our day-to-day operations will be unchanged with the amazing staff we have in place. I was surprised by the emotion this move has brought and I have been honored to work with my dad for over 15 years. I have truly LOVED our business relationship. He is the sweetest, most genuine person I know. I’m going to miss you POPS! 

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DSCN0055